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A FoG lhe would a-wooing go,
Whether his mother would let hinm or no.
Off he set with his opera-hat.
On the road he met with a Rat.
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THE FROG WHO WOULD A-WOOING GO.
BY CHARLES BENNETT.
ON the quiet sedgy bank of a stagnant pool, and under the shadow
of rank reeds and bulrushes, sat two frogs. They had retired from
the shoal, who were disporting themselves in the water, and were
earnestly talking. The elder of the two, an old matron, addressing
the younger, who, by-the-by, was her son, said,-
"My dear Froggy, you had better stop quietly with me; you do
not know what dangers you may encounter, if you leave your
"Croak, croak !" said Froggy.
" Pray, Mr. Rat, will you go with me,
Kind Mlrs. Mousey for to see ?"
They soon arrived at Mousey's hall.
Theyv )nave a loud tap, and they gave a loud call.
Ah, my son!" continued the old lady, "I see that, like most
young frogs, you are very obstinate, and will not listen to reason.
But why on earth you should wish to go gadding after a poor,
hungry little mouse, is more than I can tell--you with your
beautiful legs and speckled coat, born to a splendid estate of reeds
and water, the heir of nine bulrushes and a water-lily. I thought
you were more of a frog."
"Croak, croak!" said Froggy again.
"Have you thought of the boys who throw stones ? "
Or the birds with long beaks ?"
"Or the ducks ?"
"If you want to go a-wooing, there are frogs in your own
station in life; indeed, with your personal appearance, you might
even aspire to an eft or a lizard."
"Croak !" persisted the sulky little Frog.
You are no better than a tadpole!" said his mother, getting
" Pray, Mrs. Mouse, are you within ?"
: Yes, kind sirs, and sitting to spini."
'Pray, Mrs. Mouse, now give us some beer,
I'hat Froggy and 1 may have good lcheri."
very angry at last; and no sooner were the words out of her
lips, than up jumped Master Froggy in a passion, and taking his
opera-hat under his arm, off he went at a rapid pace, singing
at the top of his voice, so as to hide his rage,-
"Rowley, powley, gammon and spinach.
'Heigh 0!' says Anthony Rowley."
Froggy had not walked very far before he saw, jogging on
before him, a brown little fellow in a long-tail coat and Blucher
boots, who carried an old cotton umbrella. "Dear me," thought
the Frog, "that looks like my friend Mr. Rat;" and sure enough
so it was.
"How do you do?" asked Master Froggy, when he had
"Pretty well!-How's your self?-Where are you going?-
Fine day!-Squeak !" replied Mr. Rat, in a succession of short,
"I'm going," said Froggy, "to see the pretty little Widow
Mousey, who lives in that snug cottage yonder. Pray come with
me, for I feel rather bashful at going by myself."
With all my heart," replied Mr. Rat; and off they went
They soon arrived at the cottage; and the Rat having given
a loud knock, while the Frog gave a loud "Croak," Mrs. Mousey
put away her spinning-wheel in a great hurry, and admitted
"Good morning, Mrs. Mouse," said the Frog; "we were out
walking, and thought we would give you a call."
"You are very kind, I am sure," replied Mrs. Mousey.
" Pray sit down and rest yourselves; I dare say you are tired."
And here-I say-squeak!-Mrs. Mousey- some beer!-
We're thirsty," said Mr. Rat.
Croak--let's enjoy ourselves while we can," observed the
"Certainly," said Mousey. "I'll draw you some of the last
So Mousey drew some beer, and they sat down very cosily;
" Pray, Mr. Frog, will you give us a song ?
Let the subject be something that's not very long."
"Indeed, Mrs. Mouse," replied the Frog,
"A cold has made me as hoarse as a hog."
Since you have caught coldI, ~r. Fro," ousey said,
I'I sing you a song tllat I have just mal."
As they were in glee and merrymaking,
A Cat and h er kittens came tumbling in.
and soon were chatting so comfortably, that Master Froggy
thought he should soon get rid of his bashfulness, and then should
be able to ask pretty Mrs. Mousey to marry him Presently
their little hostess proposed a song, and called upon Froggy
to oblige; but, "Really," he replied, I must be excused, for
the fog last night gave me such a cold that I'm as hoarse
as a hog." He didn't forget that he had been singing "Rowley,
powley," as he came along, but he was afraid that his voice
was not good enough for his company.
"Well," said Mousey, laughing, "I am sorry for that; but
if you won't sing, I will."
So she sang a pretty little song she had just composed, and
a very charming ditty it was rather shrill, perhaps, but very
well sung indeed. After this, I need hardly tell you that they
enjoyed themselves amazingly. Perhaps Mr. Rat drank rather
too much beer ; but altogether it was a very pleasant little
party, and Froggy had so far got over his bashfulness as to
squeeze Mrs Mousey's paw once or twice rather tenderly.
But while they were thus happily employed, a terrible old
cat who lived in the neighbourhood, and went by the name
of Browzer," was tying on her shawl-calling to her kittens,
"Come, my children, it is a fine day let us go for a
walk. Make haste, for something tells me we shall find some
dinner on our way."
And sure enough they did; for after looking after little birds,
and trying the windows of all the pantries they knew,-
B-row !" said the Cat, snuffing the air; "do you know--
I'm not quite certain-but--yes, really-I smell mouse."
Mew !" said the kittens; "we're so glad."
And I think, also, rat,"
Oh, come along!" said the kittens.
Don't make a noise," whispered the Cat.
Slowly and cautiously they crept on towards Mrs. Mousey's
cottage, till at an unexpected moment, and just as Mrs. Mouse
was going to get a fresh mug of beer, in tumbled the Cat and
her kittens. Down went the Rat under the Cat's paw up in
a corner the two kittens got the Mouse.
The Cat she seized the Rat by the crown,
The kittens they pulled the little Mouse down.
This put Mr. Frog in a terrible fright,
He took up his hat, and he wished them good night.
M-row-ow, fit-z-z!" and Rat and Mouse were killed.
Holla!" says the Frog; "this won't do! Perhaps they'll
be after me in a minute. I must be off home to my mother."
And sure enough off he went (trembling like a leaf), but as
rapidly as he could. Oh, why did I ever leave home?" said
this foolish Frog: I should have been safe enough with my
mother. I'll never leave home again. Never! never! never!"
Quack, quack!" observed a Duck who had been watching
"Oh, my goodness gracious!" said the Frog; "what shall
I do now? There's the very Duck that ate up my uncle who
went abroad! Now, if I can't cross over this brook in a single
jump, I shall never get home alive. Here goes!"
But, alas! since it must be told, he could not cross the
brook in one jump.
In he fell-splash Up came the Duck.
Quack, quack! gobble, gobble, gobble!" and the poor Frog
never got home at all.
We are all sorry for his untimely end, and wish that the
As Froggy was crossing it over a brook,
A lilywwhite I)uck came and gobbled him up.
So here is an end of one, two, three-
'lThe lHat, the M.ouse. and little Froggy.
C ~- -p
-- I~C~'LC ~~~
Duck had not gobbled him up; but we must not forget that
if he had been less self-willed and obstinate, if he had only
paid attention to what his mother told him, he might have been
safe at home-perhaps, in due course, married to an amiable
Frog, and the father of a large family of innocent little tadpoles.
> c -^ ^______________
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